Tuesday, April 24, 2012

the ugly truth about my career.

as i am highly dramatic & tend to ramble, this story shall be split into parts. sorry, i'm not sorry. 

i am not one of those people who knew what they wanted to do with their life by the time they hit fifth grade. 
but, i did know people like that - they went on to become doctors, teachers, architects, part of the military...
and i think some small part of me envied them then.

but i know a large part of me envies them now. 

as a freshman in college, i began working my way toward a career in graphic design. that is, until my drawing teacher told me i couldn't draw. in hindsight, i realize that teacher was just being honest with me - telling me what in truth i already knew: 
that i wasn't going to be making a living by drawing. 
but, in the moment, it felt both devastating & humiliating. 
[it's hard enough to enter a classroom full of your peers, 
put your work on display for all to see, then listen as they & the teacher critique it. it's even harder when the teacher has already announced to everyone 
that you lack the ability most in the class possess.]

i know it sounds like i'm carrying a large chip around on my shoulder, 
but i'm not - i've let this little incident go completely well, for the most part. 

so, after my first quarter of college, 
i marched into my art advisor's office 
with a change-of-major form. 
survival of the fittest, he probably thought to himself 
as he signed away any dreams i had of a career in design, 
with a swish of his expertly poised pen. 

and so, i found myself out on the open road, 
the alley-way of majors at my fingertips at only eighteen.

i played it relatively cool in my second quarter 
[well, as far as academics are concerned, that is... 
my personal life was in a shambles of the kind i'd more likely rather forget]: 
i took english classes, paired with the type of courses only freshmen & sophomores 
have the pleasure of luxuriously sailing through - general degree requirements. 
[you know, classes like university seminar].

in my third & final quarter of freshman year, 
i decided to amp it up, choosing biology as my major 
in an attempt to follow in my dad's footsteps & attend physical therapy school. 

i was rewarded with a big, fat, ugly C in that first biology class, 
as well as a drop from the corresponding lab. 
oh yes, my slacking, distractedness, & general life drama in those months really paid off.

note: that is not to say that this time in my life wasn't one i look most fondly on. 
i met one of my best friends & bridesmaids, as well as my fiance, during this time. 

by the end of freshman year, though, i never wanted to see 
another charcoal pencil or classroom equipped with sinks ever again.

and i told myself i wouldn't... 

to be continued...

photo: iphone


Natalie said...

Oooo, I can't wait to read more! I can relate to this a lot, and it's making me smile to read your experience.

I started out at an art school studying writing, only to be told by my studio professor (the Mack Daddy of our major) that my writing wasn't good (which it wasn't). Ouch, but a blessing at the same time. I now have a very useful degree in...wait for it...Sociology! Haha. But I loved it and wouldn't change a thing. Yet, I also feel a bit envious of those who have a more prescribed career path and just hit it hard from the get-go. Still, it's fun figuring it out as I go. Sometimes. ;)

Unknown said...

I absolutely, completely, 100% know what you mean. There are people who have known for...forever...what they want to do. And I haven't been one of them either. I think we all go through times of change like this, but in a way it's a blessing. You've had more of an opportunity to really think about what you want to do. Some people think they know, and do it without a second thought. Who knows, a lot of them might be miserable in their chosen field. So, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It took me a lot of time (and a lot of changing my mind) to get where I am now. And I am very happy where I am :)

Good luck my dear.


Unknown said...

I can't wait to read the follow up!

Kindness is the best accessory,

Jess said...

This story is starting to feel a bit familiar to my own life... I spent many a day in the Academic Advisor's office changing up my major!

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...